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Doing Dirt Getting More Difficult
Changes to skillsofts, bleeding and more

There have been a number of changes made over the last few months that I think are moving the game and player community in positive directions.

The direction is see it moving in is making it much more difficult, risky and time consuming to harm other characters. It is becoming more "realistic" (as cringe as that term is to use in a game) and less cartoony / video gameish.

Sindome is presented as a game where roleplay is REQUIRED. It is clearly stated during the logon process.

At the same time, there are ongoing, recurring conversations where some players express combat and death / vatting occur for seemingly no perceived reason (at the time of the actual attack / death), and without any real consequences.

There are also ongoing conversation about combat focused characters being overly powerful, or unable to be matched in long run by players who want to characters with softer, non-combat skills.

A final ongoing conversation is the ability for characters to have extended periods of "invulnerability" or near invulnerability. The most common example is when a character spends the majority of their time in an apartment, or other extremely secure and difficult to access location.

While counterpoints are available for all of the conversations, and both "sides" have valid opinions about them, I think it is fair to say that community and staff particularly will always be challenged to provide a gaming experience that is perceived as balanced and "fair" to as large of a portion of the player base as possible.

Against that backdrop, I have seen a number of changes that are putting combat centric characters in the position of having to do more to mitigate their risks.

I have also seen how the changes I'm going to dig into are forcing people out of lone wolf and duo / trio style small group dynamics.

(From here on, I'm going to use the term 'character' to refer to both single characters, and duo / trio groups of characters.)

The first major change has been to skillsofts. It had previously been possible for a combat character to be more or less self sustaining. They could naturally have top-tier, high UE invested Skills and Supporting Attributes to put them on par with the best, if not make them the best at their prefered form of combat. They could also use skillsofts to do all of the "support" type roles (driving, flying, healing, repairing, etc, etc). They could also do all of that in the safety of a locked vehicle, or a safe apartment. And to put icing the cake, they could take the chips out when they're done so that they didn't have to risk losing them in combat.

The skillsoft changes are awesome. I think it is under appreciated how in the long run this will make lone wolf / anti-social type roleplay more difficult. It will encourage characters to build, maintain and not betray support networks. It will increase the penalties for screwing over support characters. Lastly it helps balance "soft power" characters against combat monsters.

Bleed is another great change. Similar to skillsofts, previously a combat monster could pop out of the shadows, kill someone, maybe take some serious damage in the process, then pop some patches and walk away practically as if nothing happened.

With the new bleed system, there are some pretty serious after combat considerations. Characters have to strip off layers of protection to get to bleeding wounds. The skill checks to stop the bleeding are harder. The cost of supplies to stop the bleeding are more expensive.

All of those factors combine to once again, push people away from lone wolf roleplay and crime. It encourages people to maybe try other options besides combat to resolve conflicts. It maybe lets some conflicts go unresolved, or linger longer because the risk / cost of getting into combat is higher. It encourages support roles. I love bleed especially because what crime movie doesn't have some shady doctor aspect to it? All the way from the meth addict who failed out of vet school, doing surgery on a bullet wound with a rusty butter knife in some bar bathroom... to a well planned out clinic, provided by a fixer on the contingency that one of the team might get shot. CP ass heck. Double plus love.

The last change that makes the game a better place is being able to knock people off of or pull people out of vehicles. Imagine the combat monster who takes down their prey but gets wounded in the process. They make it to their vehicle, about to pass out from blood loss. Stripping off their armor, they start patching up their wounds. All of a sudden, the victim's friends show up. The vehicle is no longer an invulnerability shield. Wouldn't it be great for the combat monster if they had a driver who doubled as a medic and extra gun?

This has been a long post, but I took the time to write it to encourage people to embrace these changes. They are making the game better. They are encouraging more community. They are encouraging more interdependency. They are encouraging pro-social, instead of anti-social behaviors. They are providing more opportunities for betrayal and double crossing. They are providing more opportunities to develop real, deep, complex relationships. They are providing more avenues for long term success that aren't solely based on being able to quickly vat a key two or three characters and flee into the darkness.

As a poorly written ctag (should) say, "Specialization breeds in weakness."

I know it's a tough pill to swallow when years have been spent fine tuning a character to be "dominant" in a major portion of the game, or based around a certain type of play style. But that's life. Change is inevitable. Stagnation is boring. Evolve or Die.

"You've never wanted to kill yourself (when you were on top) until now (that things have changed)."

Shady doctor roleplay is still a thing. You can't get to your shady doctor if you bleed out after the fight.
Bring your shady doctor with you.
That's not always possible. If that's the only real solution, watch how it changes nothing because the future of solos is to now to take dips in medical skill rather than other skills they'd have taken for fun.
Batko,

What you said makes sense.

Nearly every life long martial artist I know has developed a more than passing interest in health, healthing, diet and other disciplines related to speeding recovery and making the body stronger.

If that's solos getting interested in (spending UE in medical), then great. Totally themely and in line with what warriors have done since the dawn of time.

Health and healthing? Really auto correct.

Health and healing.

As the update post said, those more skilled in doctoring can heal more points of bleed than those who don't. And doing so in the street decreases efficiency even more.

You'll be buying far more than "just a dip" to heal yourself before you bleed out if you're bleeding more than just a little.

If you're bleeding a lot, you may go through many medpaks before you fix your bleeding, and you may bleed out before fixing it. You need people to drag your dying body away, stabilize you, or so on.

If you don't, you take more risks.

Yeah, I don't see how that's conducive to encouraging conflict at all.

I say that with all the love I have for many of your changes. I don't mean to be a jerk. I just dislike it and I can get over it.

It's more than just conflict, it's about cooperation as well. You don't have to like the changes, that is fine. I am not asking you to.

The staff and I have a very wide perspective with a lot of information players don't have, and while we don't always have the answer of what we should do, we do often have information on what we don't like about the game or don't like in regards to the trends and habits players have created in the game, as a result of the mechanics and balance as they exist.

When we change the balance and it feels like we just made a way of play untenable, it is usually with intent, and a decision we made as a group.

One of my real life friends said a long time ago that if he's bitching about a game, it's a good thing, because it means he cares.

I suspect the same is true for a lot of you. I know it sucks when I take away something or make it more difficult. I know the initial emotional reaction of "well this isn't what I would do", or "this is going to kill the game." I've been there, and I also get it that this comes from a position of feeling invested in the game.

Trust that we did calculate those risks, downsides, and made informed decisions based on what we think will be superior for the game's long term health.

Also trust if we are wrong, we will course correct or try new avenues in the future.